NFU Mutual extends cover to help farmers staging Open Farm Sunday events

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Leading rural insurer NFU Mutual is extending members’ public liability insurance cover without extra charge, to help them open their farms to the public on this year’s Open Farm Sunday.

“As an insurer with farming and the rural community at our heart, we’re delighted to provide this support to all the farmers who insure with “The Mutual” and are planning to stage an open farm event,” said Tim Price, NFU Mutual Rural Affair Specialist.

Farmers hosting events on this year’s Open Farm Sunday, which takes place on June 7 - should let their local NFU Mutual branch office know that they are planning to hold an event and follow NFU Mutual’s farm visit checklist:

· Decide which areas of the farm you want people to visit. Make sure that routes around the farm divert visitors from dangerous areas such as working machinery, chemical stores, slurry lagoons, grain stores, silage pits, etc.

· Keep the farm as clean as possible and ensure areas and pathways to which visitors have access are kept free from any build-up of faeces.

· If visitors are to be allowed to pet and feed animals, it is important that hand-washing facilities are available and that warm running water, liquid soaps and paper towels should be provided and that adequate supervision is provided in the contact areas.

· If you do not wish visitors to have contact with any of the animals, then either arrange routes away from areas where animals are kept or install double fencing to prevent contact.

· Erect signs to inform visitors of dangers. Remember that signs do not negate the need for adequate supervision.

· Ensure everyone involved in hosting the visit is trained and instructed on what visitors should or should not do. If farming operations are taking place at the same time as the visit, it is important that the two are suitably segregated.

· Remember that children are naturally curious and can often get into apparently inaccessible places. Whilst parents have a particular responsibility to prevent their children straying into areas where they may be at risk, you must take responsibility for the safety of visitors to your site.